29 April 2013

400. XpressConnect on Debian, Arch: step by step

Here's a step-by-step write-up of this post: http://verahill.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/393-not-fix-xpressconnect-on-ubuntu-vs.html

The 'problem' with running Xpress Connect on non-Ubuntu linux distributions is entirely artificial -- XpressConnect checks whether you are using Ubuntu, and if you're not, it refuses to run.

So the solution is simply to pretend that you are using ubuntu, however annoying that is. I wish universities would take this into account and end their association with Cloudpath, or to force them to support other distributions.

Note: XpressConnect is completely superfluous -- it doesn't do anything other than set up your wireless connection, which is something you could easily do by hand. See e.g. here for eduroam: http://verahill.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/394-eduroam-using-wicd-and-network.html

How-to get XpressConnect running
1. Create the file /etc/lsb-release and put the following in it
If you are completely new to linux, one way of creating the file is to run
gksu gedit /etc/lsb-release

Alternatively, if you're not using gnome, try
sudo nano /etc/lsb-release 

2. Install lshw and iwlist

On debian (and clones like mint, ubuntu etc.):
sudo apt-get install lshw wireless-tools

On arch linux
sudo pacman -S lshw wireless_tools

3. Run XpressConnect
This is the vanilla version -- replace http://hosted.cloudpath.net/Xavier/Production/tools/XpressConnect-Linux.tar with the link to your universities version.

cd ~/Downloads
wget http://hosted.cloudpath.net/Xavier/Production/tools/XpressConnect-Linux.tar
tar xvf XpressConnect-Linux.tar

That's it. Simple as that.

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